Facts and Events
There is a survey of various unsupported claims about the origins of William Mullins by Alicia Crane William in Source:Mayflower Descendant, p. 44:14.
Often connected to the Molyneaux family with claims of royal ancestry, which is denied in other quarters. According to Alice Crane Williams, "Nellie Z. R. Molyneux, in her 1904 work, History, Genealogical and Biographical, of the Molyneux Families (p. 60), used her imagination to stretch Molines to Mollyneux and gave him a completely unsupported pedigree..."
MayflowerHistory calls him "apparently" the son of John Mullins and Joan Bridger of Dorking Surrey (where William lived before leaving on the Mayflower). This is probably based on a pamphlet by John E. N. Walker published about 1973. The information on this pamphlet is "based upon local records. These records are not cited in the pamphlet..." (i.e., not verifiable). The pamphlet says the "Parish Register is blank for the years 1572/1578 inclusive" but "by genealogical methods we find that the pedigree is highly probable", but Alicia Crane Williams notes that the methods are "not described in the pamphlet", so again, not verifiable. While all these unverified claims means that this claim ultimately has no basis, it at least seems to have the advantage of feasibility, hence the use of the word "apparently" above.
Great Migration expresses no claim of his parents, which generally means no reliable source has raised a theory or thought it worthy of addressing.
In 1612 William Mullins bought a holding in Dorking with a house and an acre and a half of land and outbuildings between West Street and Back Lane (now Church Street for £122 and took over a mortgage of £200. He sold this to Ephriam Bothal in May 1619 for £280 (Dorking pamphlet).
On 29 April 1616, a warrant was issued to bring “one William Mollins before heir Lordships.” On 2 May he appeared before the Privy Council and was continued technically in their custody “untill by their Honours’ order hee be dismissed.” While the reason for this arrest is not given, it was most probably associated with the religious controversies of that time. The fact that he was a Dissenter may explain why William Mullin’s marriage record is not found in the Parish Register for Dorking, nor are the baptisms of his children.
William and his wife and two children (Pricsilla and Joseph) came over on the Mayflower. William was the 10th signer of Mayflower Compact but his will made just before death (21 Feb 1621) and witnessed by the surgeon of the Mayflower shows Mullins too ill to land and died on the ship in Plymouth Harbour. His wife died same month and their 16 year old son Joseph died soon after - leaving Priscilla alone
Mr. William mullines, and his wife; and 2 children Joseph and Priscila and a servant Robert Carter The fate of this family is given in Bradford’s list of Increasings and Decreasings (The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 1:13): Mr. Molines, and his wife, his sone, and his servant dyed the first winter. Only his daughter Priscila survived, and married with John Alden, who are both living [in 1650] and have 11 [sic] children.
Mullins will was discovered in the late 19th century by Henry F. Waters and published as part of his series, Genealogical Gleanings in England, in New England Historical & Genealogical Register, vol. 42:62-63. The will proves that William died before his wife, son, and servant, who are all mentioned in the instrument, and that Alice and Joseph were still alive when the Mayflower sailed, or else Gov. Carver would have annexed a statement regarding the deaths of the two legatees. The date of the copy of the will also proves that the Mayflower did not leave New England until after 2 April 1621. The probate record proves that William Mullins resided at Dorking, co. Surrey.
The nuncupative (oral) will of William Mullins probably written 21 February 1621, the day of his death, and copied 2 April 1621 (reprinted here from The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 1:231-232):
In the name of God Amen: I comit my soule to God that gave it and my bodie to the earth from whence it came.j Alsoe, I give my goodes as followeth That Forty poundes in the hand of Goodman Woodes I give my wife tenn poundes, my sonne Joseph tenn poundes, my daughter Priscilla tenn poundes, and my eldest sonne tenn poundes. Alsoe I give to my eldest sonne all my debts, bonds, bills (onelye yt forty poundes excepted in the handes of Goodman Wood) given as aforesaid wth all the sotck in his owne handes. To my eldest daughter I give tenn shillings to be paied out of my sonnes stock. Furthermore that goodoes I have in Virginia as followoeth To my wife Alice halfe my goodes & to Joseph and Priscilla the other halfe wquallie to be devided betweene them. I also have xxj dozen of shoes, and thirteene paire of bootes wch I give into the Companies handes for forty poundes at seaven years and if they like tham at that rate. If it be thought to deare as my Overssers shall thinck good And if they like them at that rate at the divident I shall have nyne shares whereof I give as followeth twoe to my wife, twoe to my sonne William, twoe to my sonne Joseph, twoe to my daughter Priscilla, and one to the Companie. Allsoe, if my sonne William will come to Virginia I give him my share of land furdermore I give to my twoe Overseers Mr John Carver and Mr Williamson, twentye shillings apiece to see this my will performed desiringe them that he would have an eye over my wife and children and be as fathers and friends to them; Allsoe to have a speciall eye to my man Robert wch has not so approved himselfe as I would he should have done.
This is a Coppye of Mr Mullens his Will of all particulars he hathe given. In witnes whereof I have sett my hande John Carver, Giles Heale, Christopher Joanes
The will was carried back to England for probate by the Mayflower on her return voyage (ibid.):
Administration was granted to his daughter back in Surrey:
Vicesimo tertio : die mensis Julii Anno Domini Millesimo sexcentesimo vicesimo primo Emanavit Commissio Sare Blunden als Mullins filie naturali et legitime dicti defuncti ad administrand bona iura et credita eiusdem defuncti iuxta tenorem et effectum testamenti suprascripti eo quod nullum in eodem testamento nominavit executorem de bene ect Jurat. 68, Dale.
[TRANSLATION OF THE LATIN]: In the month of July Anno Domini 1621. On the 23d day issued a commission to Sarah Blunden, formerly Mullins, nartural and legitimate daughter of William Mullins, late of Dorking in the County of Surrey, but deceased in parts beyond the seas, seized &c., for administering the goods, rights and credits of the said deceased, according to the tenor and effect of the will of the said deceased because in that will he named no executor. In due form &c. swears.